At a ceremony today, 30 March 2006, at the Kecskémet air base in Hungary the Swedish Defence Minister Leni Bjorklund formally handed-over the first five Hungarian Gripen new generation fighter aircraft to her Hungarian counterpart, Ferenc Juhász, Hungary’s Minister of Defence.
With the lease and purchase agreement, consisting of twelve single seat and two twin seat Gripen aircraft of the latest C and D versions, Hungary has secured a thirty-year solution for its air defence requirements. The agreement benefits Hungary substantially, combining an outstanding aircraft with the best combination of price, financing and long term industrial cooperation.
The remaining nine Gripen aircraft will be delivered progressively until December 2007.
The Gripen fighter aircraft are equipped with a retractable Air-to-Air Refuelling (AAR) probe, capability to use NATO interoperable weapons including Laser Guided Bombs (LGBs), an advanced electronic warfare system, an On Board Oxygen Generation System (OBOGS), English language full colour cockpit displays and a NATO interoperable communications suit. This ensures that Hungarian Gripen can operate world wide, from NATO or dispersed bases, jointly with alliance Air and Ground Forces.